News

Fire guts Nanaimo home

Ennis Mond, Nanaimo Fire Rescue fire prevention officer, investigates the interior of a home at 5 Gillespie Street, which was destroyed by a blaze early Wednesday. Mond turned his investigation over to Nanaimo RCMP after deeming the cause of the fire suspicious. - Chris Bush/The News Bulletin
Ennis Mond, Nanaimo Fire Rescue fire prevention officer, investigates the interior of a home at 5 Gillespie Street, which was destroyed by a blaze early Wednesday. Mond turned his investigation over to Nanaimo RCMP after deeming the cause of the fire suspicious.
— image credit: Chris Bush/The News Bulletin

A Nanaimo man lost all his possessions in a fire that gutted a house Wednesday.

Fire crews were called to the blaze in a single-storey rental house on Gillespie Street in south Nanaimo just before 1:30 a.m.

Ennis Mond, fire investigator with Nanaimo Fire Rescue, deemed the fire suspicious Wednesday afternoon and called the RCMP to investigate further.

He would release few details, other than the fire started at the front of the house and there was more than one ignition point.

When crews arrived, smoke and flames were coming from a front window and the back kitchen window, said Mond.

"The fire got up into the attic space and basically travelled the whole length of the house," he said.

Mond said the tenant, who did not have insurance and was the only person living there, was treated on scene for smoke inhalation and then taken to hospital.

The tenant told fire crews that he had a cat that had not come out of the house. The cat had not been found by press time.

Mond did not know if the owner, who lives in Duncan and also owns the house next door, had insurance.

Dayne Hayden, who lives next door with his father, was awoken by a neighbour banging on his front door.

When he looked out the window, he initially thought his own house was on fire because all he could see was an orange glow.

Even when he got outside and realized it was the house next door, Hayden grabbed some warm clothes and watched from a safe distance because he was worried the fire would spread.

"I feel lucky," Hayden said. "I hate to say it because someone did lose everything they had, but it very much could have been worse."

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